As we prepare to welcome Spring, take some time to reflect on how you want your life to grow during the season. Here are a few practical ways to prepare your body, mind and spirit for a happy and healthy season.
- Nurture your heart. Is there a friendship that you would like to “grow” this springtime? Maybe you have a friend that you haven’t spoken with in some time or haven’t had a chance to connect with due to life’s circumstances. Make some time to call and spend a few hours together. Or, maybe you have a family member in the same situation. Remember, life here on earth is time-limited. And the time is not ours to choose. Cherish the time you have now with those you love.
- Prepare your body. Take a walk outside on a sunny day, even if the air is a bit crisp. Nature has a way of renewing body, mind and spirit. If you aren’t able to get outside, take at least 10-15 minutes, 3 times a day to move around inside. Even if you feel “trapped” in an office or workspace and the day is particularly stressful, a few minutes of movement and mindful breathing several times daily helps decrease cortisol levels and promotes stress relief, improved circulation, concentration and relaxation.
- Green is the color of springtime and corresponds to the wood element in Chinese medicine. The wood element is related to growth and the smooth flow of Qi in the body. Eating lightly cooked, fresh leafy greens during this time helps the body maintain this flow. Kale, Swiss chard, watercress and spinach are all excellent choices and contain high levels of antioxidants. If you haven’t cooked this before, just chop up a large bunch of fresh kale, Swiss chard and/or spinach. Saute with 1-2 tbsp. of olive oil and 1-2 cloves of chopped garlic (depending on your taste). The kale and Swiss chard will take 7-8 minutes to cook, while the spinach will cook up much faster, in 1-2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Do you or does someone you know experience seasonal allergies? Not only does acupuncture promote the smooth flow of Qi, but it also is scientifically proven to reduce seasonal allergy symptoms. An acupuncture treatment plan (a course of acupuncture treatment over time) also helps to prevent allergy flares across seasons.
- Don’t forget sleep hygiene! Pay attention to the flow of nature. In ancient times, people went to bed when the sun set and awakened with the sunrise. Though that isn’t always practical today, it is important to have a sleep routine. Research suggests that most adults require 7-9 hours of sleep nightly. Avoid caffeine in the evening and “screen time” in bed.
Wishing each of you a happy and joyous entry into Spring, and looking forward to our next time together!